A Longitudinal Examination of Children's Emotion Regulation Problems, Negative Parenting Behaviors, and the Development of Internalizing Behavior Problems
by Fan, Catherine Kay, Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, 2011, 132 pages; 3476432


Internalizing problems in preschool have been found to predict later anxiety and depressive disorders, and outcomes may vary according to children's gender. Preschool children's transitions to school pose additional risks, as this developmental period is associated with increased social and cognitive demands. Despite the significance of this age group and the long-term implications associated with early internalizing symptoms, most studies have focused on early behavior problems; relatively few have examined early precursors of internalizing disorders. One potential risk factor, particularly during the preschool-to-school age transition, is emotion dysregulation. Specifically, emotion overregulation, or excessive control of emotions, is ill-defined in current literature but may be associated with later internalizing outcomes. Therefore, in the present study, operational definitions of emotion overregulation were examined and clarified. Structural equation modeling analyses were also conducted to investigate both concurrent and longitudinal relationships between overregulation, negative parenting, and internalizing outcome variables. The potential roles of social context and gender in relationships with children's adjustment were also explored. Participants were 235 children (113 girls) at elevated risk for behavior problems. Children's emotion dysregulation was assessed using a multi-method approach: (1) laboratory-based behavioral task; (2) mothers' reports of children's emotion overregulation-related temperament; and (3) teachers' reports of children's emotion dysregulated behavior. Negative parenting behaviors were assessed via maternal parenting questionnaires. Mothers and teachers reported on child internalizing outcomes at ages 3, 6, and 10 years. Our analysis revealed several interesting pathways between predictor variables and internalizing outcomes. In particular, several emotion overregulation variables predicted internalizing behaviors concurrently and longitudinally, and negative parenting predicted internalizing behaviors across time. Shy temperament, negative parenting, and internalizing behaviors were also stable from preschool to kindergarten, and prediction models also suggested temporal stability of these variables from preschool to late school-age. As expected, some differences between mother- and teacher-reported outcomes were found, suggesting the importance of examining multiple contexts. Although gender was not a significant moderator in the proposed model relationships, unique gender-related findings were revealed. Results are discussed with respect to the value of multi-contextual, multi-level analyses of children's early emotion regulation abilities and parenting behaviors for prevention of internalizing behavior problems.

AdviserSheryl L. Olson
SourceDAI/B 72-12, Oct 2011
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsDevelopmental psychology; Clinical psychology
Publication Number3476432
Adobe PDF Access the complete dissertation:

» Find an electronic copy at your library.
  Use the link below to access a full citation record of this graduate work:
  If your library subscribes to the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database, you may be entitled to a free electronic version of this graduate work. If not, you will have the option to purchase one, and access a 24 page preview for free (if available).

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With over 2.3 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

The database includes citations of graduate works ranging from the first U.S. dissertation, accepted in 1861, to those accepted as recently as last semester. Of the 2.3 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 1.9 million in full text formats. Of those, over 860,000 are available in PDF format. More than 60,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - http://www.proquest.com - or call ProQuest Hotline Customer Support at 1-800-521-3042.